Borders Leisure Trust gives Tweedbank a make over for 2014

Tweedbank Athletics Track gets major refurbishment Sports Labs play key role in project:

Tweedbank a strategically important track in the Border was originally opened The track was built in about 1984 and was upgraded from 6 to 8 lanes in 1996, constructed by Charles Lawerence Surfaces it has served the Borders athletics clubs very well over the years. A quick make over 2 years ago did not prove to prolong the life of the facility therefore a decision was made to refurbish the track in May 2013.

Working with Stuart Davidson a local architect Sports Labs prepared a specification for the works and sought tenders for the refurbishment for works to commence in May. The initial site investigation was very positive and was proven to be correct in that the track was originally built to a high standard. During the works the quality of the install was monitored by key stage inspections so throughout a regime of sampling and testing was exercised.

The end result is now an upgrade on the potential for this track to host top Scottish events in the future. With Scotland hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games Tweedbank will no doubt feature in warm up and training facilities for attending Nations.




Borders press reported on the benefits of the project to the community in a recent article which you can read here;

Peterborough Embankment Athletics Track; get's a facelift with Sports Labs help!

Peterborough Embankment Athletics Track A major refurbishment of the Embankment athletics facility was commissioned by Peterborough Council to bring the facility up to modern standards.  The facility is managed by Vivacity Peterborough on behalf of Peterborough City Council, who actually funded the project. Sports Labs provided specialist consultancy services to Peterborough  Enterprise to assist in the management of this project.

Following a tendering process to SAPCA approved track builder members, Blakedown Sport and Play were awarded the contract.

The works included adding new training straights, modifying and refurbishing the long/triple jump facilities dealing with run-off from embankments on the home straight together with the replacement of all the polymeric surfaces on the track.

As with most ageing facilities you are never quite sure what you will find when you remove the old track surface and that was the case here; we found a very poor substrate which required a lot of work to make sure it complied with modern athletic requirements and was durable (future proof). The works in general were delivered smoothly and generally to programme albeit the early weather in spring was very cool to say the least and most importantly to budget.

The track has a thriving club network and this refurbishment puts the facility right back in the frame as regards athletics in the heart of the Cambridgeshire, Rutland, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire borders. We are looking forward to seeing the athletics results of this investment in years to come.

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Sports Labs become Sports England Framework Provider

Sport England Artificial Sports Surfaces Consultancy Services Sport England has set up a number of framework contracts with service providers to simplify the procurement of contractors and consultants for future funded projects.Image The framework contract is simply a form of contract where pre-selection of a particular service provider results in a small number of companies being shortlisted to provide the services without the need for protracted tendering process each time a project is available. Frameworks normally last 3 to 4 years. The aim of the Sport England framework contract is to select the best service providers for the work being tendered. Sport England has now put in place a number of framework consultants to deliver specialist aspects of projects on their behalf the one that concerns us is the sports pitches and other sports surfaces framework contract.


Following a detailed and thorough selection process Sports Labs were successfully selected as one of four specialist consultants for sports surfaces and other specialist services. We are very pleased to be involved with Sport England in this framework contract and look forward to the next 4 years working with Sport England within the framework.

UJSportslabs team up with Grand Designs Live for a good cause

Earlier this year UJSportslabs were approached by a third party to determine if we could assist Vuleka (an independent, non-profit school) with a new mini football turf. After a few enquiries, UJSportslabs together with Grand Designs Live (who sponsored the carpet after an exhibition) and with the assistance of Greenfields who installed the turf, the mini pitch is complete. The mini pitch not only provides the children with endless hours of play during their breaks, but provides a comfy spot under the shade during their reading lessons.  

The pitch before the installation        The pitch after the installation of the turf


The children enjoying a game of football

St Michael's Primary School; new multi-use games area

West Dunbartonshire Council's ongoing programme of upgrading school sites with new play areas and artificial turf pitches is producing some very high quality facilities for kids to develop sporting skill on. A project a few years in the making the Council were able to add a hard-standing playground area to the plans to have an artificial pitch on-site.

The school catering for P1 to P7 age groups has seen a tremendous  benefit to the sporting endeavour of its children since the pitch opened a few months ago. Sports Labs designed, tendered and project managed the works from concept through to handover.

Fairways Sportsgrounds were the main contractor for the works and delivered an excellent project on-time and to budget.

The Principal stated that "the pitch was a dream come true and will make a tremendous difference to the the children's sports, she said we now have a proper pitch away from the old grit surface which was always flooded".

Here a few photos of the pitch

Sports Labs BE by NOC * NSF recognized as a testing institute for sports flooring

Sports Labs gain NOC approval The company Sports Labs BE is as of 6 July 2012 approved by NOC * NSF as a testing institute for performing laboratory tests and inspections of sports floors. Sports Labs BE is located in Gentbrugge in Belgium and is part of Sports Labs Ltd. Sports Labs BE is an ISO / IEC 17020 certified company that, among other FIFA, FIH and the International Rugby Board works.

On behalf of the NOC * NSF plays a central role in the way sports flooring and sports facilities are approved in the Netherlands. This requires certain standards (sports and technical equipment) determined that inspection bodies must fulfill. In the Netherlands, a select number of companies are approved by by NOC * NSF for such testing protocols that must be performed NOC-1

The management of standards and test methods for sport has for many years been in the hands of ISA Sport (now ISA KIWA). After ISA KIWA became an independent organization, the management of standards and test methods transferred to NOC * NSF.  In 2008, the company INTRON NOC * NSF Certification (now SGS INTRON) were approved for the testing of sports surfaces and now Sports Labs BE the third test institute recognized by NOC * NSF.

Besides ISA KIWA and SGS INTRON's also Sports Labs BE contribute expertise to the testing of sports surfaces and sports facilities in the Netherlands in accordance with established procedures.

Here we see Roland Draajier of NOC with Eric and Yannick of Sports Labs BE

IRB One Turf Conference, Dublin

Excellent conference held by IRB in Dublin yesterday regarding exploring the options for a One Turf concept for artificial turf. Brining experts, manufacturers and NGB's together, the concept is to create a standard which will allow many sports to be played on one turf system with one applicable specification. There was an excellent international speaker list and papers presented see day 1 programme attached, the morning sessions explored the rationale and objectives for creating a One Turf standard.

Afternoon sessions included exploring the similarities/differences in current specifications, footwear issues and testing, exploring the shoe surface interaction, injury data on artificial turf, and then proposals for developing a common standard.

This might be the first steps in possibly streamlining the proliferation of standards which exist at the moment.


Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow hosts the IRB Seven Tournament on Saturday and Sunday The now completed tranformation of Scotstoun to an international rugby venue means its ready for action. Of course we want home advantage here and Glasgow Life have done every possible thing to make the venue right for the weekend for not just Scotland but all the teams. Around 20,000 tickets are already sold meaning there will be a a good chance of a full house over the weekend.

Check out the venue as seen from the TV tower...


It’s not all work you know!

On Easter Monday Sports Labs staff braved the Scottish chill to tackle the stunning Fidra course at Acherfield  The usual format of stableford scoring, nearest the hole and longest drive was the order of the day.

No holes in one were scored but a good close contest was had with scores coming in 35, 34, and 32 at the front end so handicappers were doing well.

All in all it was great day and we all had fun some more than others – but that’s golf!


                                                                                                                                                                                       Some of the legends of the game